Gorksi Decides Against Appeal, Pays $2,500 Ethics Fine

Groveland Municipal Complex. (File photograph.)

Groveland Selectwoman Elizabeth A. Gorski, who has Haverhill ties, has paid a $2,500 fine issued by the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission.

Gorski was fined in mid-December after the commission found she threatened negative employment action against the chief and deputy chief of police after her son, a Groveland Police officer, was placed on on administrative leave. She told WHAV at the time she had not yet decided whether to appeal.

“The fine was paid sometime in January and, thus, there is no appeal,” said the commission’s Public Education and Communications Division Chief David Giannotti.

The commission, however, ruled its enforcement division failed to prove any of its other claims against Gorski.

“I’m pleased to have been vindicated on the vast majority of the issues,” said Gorksi in December. “If I was a baseball player, three out of four isn’t bad.” Gorski said the commission “explicitly held that I was not trying to influence the decision (of the police chief). I’m disappointed the commission found me responsible for one casual encounter in a local restaurant.”

The 15-year selectwoman said Police Chief Robert Kirmelewicz and the commission’s own enforcement division “got slapped a bit.” She referred to a footnote buried in the text of the ethics commission decision.

“While Chief Kirmelewicz is not the subject of this adjudicatory hearing, based on the testimony and Statements by (Selectmen) Darke and Greaney and the notes Greaney wrote about Kirmelewicz’s call to him on March 8, 2014, we conclude that the chief improperly engaged in threatening and intimidating conduct, including threatening these selectmen with complaints to the ethics commission in order to discourage them from assessing his job performance…We cannot condone the chief’s aggressive, self-serving threat or use of this process in order to prevent governmental employees from properly performing public duties that could have proven disadvantageous to him,” the footnote reads.

Gorski was the secretary of Haverhill Beef during the 13 years the business was operated by her late husband, retired State Police Lieutenant Barry W. Gorski. He died in 2010. She previously served as an aide to former Senator James P. Jajuga who was also fined $2,500 this year for late disclosure of his drug lobbying work. Gorski also served in the administration of Haverhill Mayor John J. Guerin and worked for the Haverhill YWCA.

Gorski’s current term as selectman ends this year.

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